For Christmas Santa spoiled my two oldest girls with Maplelea Girls. They’re like American Girls but are a Canadian company and each girl comes from a different Canadian city and has her own personality, journal and even fashion sense. The girls love Taryn and Leonie but with one outfit and a price tag of $30 an outfit it didn’t look like they’d have quite a wardrobe! Until I discovered all the free patterns online for American girls! Yay! a whole bunch of patterns to clothe the newest members of our family…or so I thought.
It turns out that while they say American girl clothes will fit Maplelea girls the Canadian version is skinnier with longer limbs. Great…just great, lol. So, with a little reference to the AG patterns I drafted my own pattern. 3 tries later I was rewarded with two pairs of pajamas for 2 tiny girls.
Isn’t it neat that the girls look so individual? Leonie seems to like classy, pretty clothes so I thought she’d enjoy some pretty floral flannel with lace trim. Taryn is more of a down to earth girl so she got blue stripped cotton with a floral embroidered neck and hem. She seems to like hers too and my girls seem to love them. I think one more draft and the pattern should be perfect. I still want the sleeves a little longer and more of a scoop to the neck but all in all I’m really happy with the way these turned out.
Last year for Christmas I made my niece a felt breakfast set. If I remember correctly it had bacon and eggs, strawberries, oranges and apple slices in it. She apparently likes it a lot and my sister mentioned to me that she wanted to steal the strawberries to hang in her kitchen. As soon as I heard her say that I rushed into my craft room in search of something to make sophisticated strawberries. In my stash I found a square of red wool fabric that was too small and a little too delicate to make something like booties out of. But…it was perfect for strawberries that would be displayed (and still strong enough to take a munching from her little guy if he got his hands on them).
After finishing the strawberries off I needed something to put them in. I had a bunch of wool roving I picked up when I was trying to learn wool felting. Well, I’ve learned that felting is a lot harder than it looks and needs a lot of patience to make anything more than balls in the washing machine. Patience is not something I really have in abundance when it comes to creating. When I want it done I want it done NOW, lol.
So… I took my wool roving and braided it into a nice long coil and threw it in the washing machine. It came out as a nice felted braided cord that I could now just coil into a bowl shape and sew together. An upholstery needle and some strong thread and an episode of NCIS and the strawberries now have a cute little home to live in.
I’m not really a gift card lover but when you’re sending things across the country and have no idea what people want or need sometimes a gift card just works better. I guess…my darling Husband keeps telling me anyway. In an effort to send something a little different than a gift card in an envelope I went in search of some unique card holders to make. Then I found these and fell in love!
White Waxflower's Anthropology inspired gift card holder
This is one of the little guys I made. I remembered right before I wrapped the last of them to snap a picture of one. I think he’s my favourite because my 4 year old picked out his eyes.
He’s made from various scraps I had with vintage buttons I picked up in a huge jar of buttons eons ago.
I love this purse!
When I saw the pattern for Made By Rae’s Buttercup Purse I just knew I needed to make it! I had a never worn Man’s black dress shirt that I found at the local thrift shop and had to buy because the fabric felt so nice and I thought it would be perfect for my little sister for Christmas. Instead of permanently attaching the flower I thought it would be fun to make her a bunch of different flowers that she could pin to the bag to change up the look. And I made the pins so the pin could be slid out and the flower coudl be put on a headband or a hair clip instead.
So… she can make her purse cute with the white lace flower or she can change it up and make it look like this…
or thisor thisor my personal favourite…I hope she enjoys it as much as I liked playing with it! Okay, she better like it or she needs to mail it back, tee hee. Guess what I’m making myself in the new year?
So…I signed up for wordpress because I was told it was “better” than blogger in the sense that I can have more control over my blog. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into consideration tha fact that my lovely husband would be so busy and reluctant to show me the ins and outs of things of the whole thing. He says it easy but I think by easy he means it’s like me shoving him into my sewing room and telling him I want him to make a bag. Easy for me…not so wasy for him, lol.
So I’ll continue to putter around on here and try to figure out the ins and outs of this thing like adding buttons, links and using an external server for my pictures. It can’t be that hard to figure out, right? I’m thinking I just need to lower my standards. I’m so blown away by the awesomeness that is the blogs of a lot of lovely ladies out there that I miss the big picture – actually sharing things with people.
Right now I’m also working on a Princess Lolly costume, a medieval princess costume and a zombie princess costume all due by October 27th. Thankfully, Ruby chose something easy – she wants to be a cow (and has spent the last week perfecting her Mooooooooooooo). I only say easy because I manged to stumble upon a cow costume at the thrift store so I didn’t have to figure out how to turn a 2 year old into a cow! We’ve also decided to make Christmas as homemade as possible so I’m working on a bunch of presents for the girls and other special people in our lives. I’ll be sharing the pressies for the little ones but I’d probably have to bann the only readers of my blog from here if I showed the grown up gifts so they’ll wait.
Being the unorganized person that I am I remembered Cecily needed a backpack for Preschool, oh, 14 hours before she needed it. So at 9 pm after spending an hour scouring the house for something I could plausibly pass off as a backpack I relented and decided to just sew one for her. Yup, at 9PM I STARTED sewing a backpack that was needed for the following morning at 10AM.
Now, I could have just designed and drafted something simple but being not the brightest bulb in the box I thought an owl would be cute.
Some things I learned while making Mr. Owl are
1… there really is a difference between heat n bond lite and and regular heat and bond. If you try to sew through regular heat and bond not only will you end up with huge needle holes that look horrendous but it also gums up your needle and the bobbin cover.
2…if you heat up heat and bond for one second too long it won’t adhere properly and you’re pretty much screwed if you don’t notice before you iron it onto your finsihed product.
3…when you draw up a pattern when you’re exhausted it’s probably a good idea to write down what you used for your seam allowance so you actually use that seam allowance when sewing it. Ya…things don’t line up without the right seam allowance, lol.
4…when cutting your pattern don’t forget to mark where the MIDDLE of everything is so you can line those marks up later. Eyeballing will lead to yout straps being put on lopsided and just looking silly.
5…don’t try and draft and sew a finished pattern 13 hours before you need the thing. This is especially important when you’re already exhausted and h ave a kid who wakes up every 2 hours.
Fortunately, the only one who seems to have noticed all these little shortcomings in Mr. Owl is me. Cecily loves him and is perfectly happy to walk proudly into preschool with her lopsided, peeling faced owl backpack. I think his matching friend Little Owl makes him even cooler in the eyes of a four year old.
Maybe after Christmas I’ll get going on Owl 2.0 and get him a little closer to perfect. By then I may have also learned how to turn my patterns into a PDF to share with everyone because what’s the fun of creating things if you don’t get to give them away, right?
I think he’s the perfect friend for running around with…wouldn’t you agree?